By Councillor Brid Smith – People Before Profit Alliance
Respite care in Cherryorchard Hospital is still under threat. Management kept the Beech unit open but have started to move patients out of other wards. They have tried to divide and conquer this community. If they get away with this we will lose the wards forever in Cherryorchard.
The horrific report on Leas Cross shows that elderly people don’t get proper care in private nursing homes. Families in our community are stressed out with worry about their loved ones. Farming old people out to private nursing homes is wrong and it wont save money. We want to keep every bed in our local community hospital
Report Will Deepen Unemployment Crisis
Vigorous Campaign To Defend Public Services Must Be Launched
The People Before Profits Alliance today condemned the report from An Bord Snip Nua as predictable scapegoating of the public sector.
If the recommendations in this report are implemented public services will be devastated and pensioners, the poor and disadvantaged will see the incomes slashed.
Councillor Joan Collins said “This report was written without any thought for the devastating effect its slash and burn recommendations will have on the lives of ordinary people. Services in schools and hospitals will be slashed. The incomes of the poorest will be slashed. This report targets teachers, health workers, children with special needs, social welfare recipients, medical cardholders and pensioners. These people did not create the economic crisis. When will we have the report which tells us how the rich are going to pay for the mess they created?”
Councillor Richard Boyd Barrett said “If this report is implemented it will set off a deflationary spiral which will deepen the unemployment crisis. Over 17,000 jobs are to go at a time when the state should be leading the drive to create jobs. In its obsession with cutting there no consideration of how the state can play a role in creating jobs which will improve services to the public and provide the housing, schools and hospital which we need so badly.
There is now a crying need for a vigorous campaign to defend public services and the incomes of workers and those dependent on social welfare.
During the Public meeting last night, it has emerged that while the Beech Unit will remain open, the cuts in Cherry Orchard Hospital are continuing. Instead of the Beech Unit closing, the axe is falling on the other units at Cherry Orchard Hospital: Sycamore, Willow and Laurel. A whole new series of patients and families are being affected. Although the exact figures are unclear as of yet we are aware that patients will be moved to private nursing homes from this weekend. Many these patients are suffering from Alzheimers and Dementia and see Cherry Orchard Hospital as their second home.
The HSE are robbing Peter to pay Paul in a cynical attempt to disguise their cuts, changing the wards and the names of those shuffled out to private care. Changing the names will not reduce the stress and trauma involved in such a move for patients and their families. This is another example of how the most vulnerable suffer from the Embargo on staff recruitment in the Health Service. There is a real human cost in all of this, which cannot be hidden by changing the names of the wards that face cuts.
On Monday 13th July at 1pm the People Before Profit Alliance organised a protest in support of 13 contract cleaners who were unlawfully dismissed by the private contractor in the Custom House.
People Before Profit Councillor Joan Collins shows her support
The 13 cleaners have been working in the Custom House for 6 years for Eco Facilities Management. When the contract was won by the new company Schorman, the workers were expecting the same wages, hours and conditions as previously under the 'transfer of undertakings' regulation. Schorman secured the contract to clean the Custom House on May 28th. The contract had been held previously by Eco-Facilities Management.
On May 29th letters were issued to the cleaners by Schorman informing them that their hours would be cut from 4 hours to “2.57” hours per day. Although the Custom House hadn't shrunk by a ratio of 4 to 2.57. Which obviously means that the new employer assumed that these women would do the same work in less hours for less pay. Then the 13 cleaners were sacked, and 6 new workers were brought in to do the same job but only getting paid for 2.5 hours while the former employees were paid for 4 hours.
Local Councillors and patients' families learned today (14/07/09) from the HSE in Cherryorchard Hospital that the controversial decision to close the Beech Unit has been reversed. The Beech Unit will remain open for the foreseeable future. This has been the result of a magnificent campaign by the families, who care for the patients, and the local community.
However, there will be some beds closing for the Summer months and the decision on how many beds and in what units the closures will take place, will not be made until early next week.
The families whose loved ones receive respite care in the Beech Unit at the hospital are delighted with the news. Their loved ones will not be disrupted or moved and will remain in Cherryorchard respite care. The Campaign to save Respite Services in Cherryorchard Hospital has achieved some success in pressuring the HSE to change their approach to respite care. The HSE have reassured us that all patients involved will receive a service and disruption to patients and their families will be kept at a minimum.
But our campaign will continue to fight for every bed in Cherryorchard Hospital to be kept open by employing the necessary nursing staff instead of putting patients out to private nursing homes. Despite several requests to David Walsh, spokesperson of the HSE, who promised to give us the costings of employing nursing staff as against paying for private nursing home beds, we still have no answers.